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Archive for October, 2015

Avianca Connects Bogotá with Barbados

Bogotá, Columbia.  October 29, 2015 — Thousands of South Americans keen on taking a holiday in the Eastern Caribbean island of Barbados will have a new non-stop option via Avianca from December 2.

The new Bogotá to Bridgetown direct flights, with flying time of just three hours and 10 minutes, will be operated on Wednesdays and Saturdays using Airbus A318 100-seater aircraft.  Flights will depart from El Dorado International Airport (BOG) at 2 p.m. and arrive at the Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) at 6:10 p.m.  On the return, flights will leave Bridgetown at 6:55 p.m. and arrive in Bogota at 9:03 p.m.

Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. CEO, William Griffith, said the new service was one welcomed by their Latin America tour operator partners, adding that their joint marketing strategy with Avianca and the travel trade will focus on positioning Barbados as an enchanting getaway for families with children and for couples.  These promotional efforts will commence in the first week November with a familiarization trip with Avianca’s top-producing travel agencies and tour operators.  Local industry partners will also conduct a roadshow mid-November to network with key operators in Bogota.

“This service will allow multigenerational travelers and those seeking a romantic getaway to plan three, four or seven-day trips, which we see as critical for the long-term success of this exciting new service.  We believe this service will also attract travelers from nearby South American cities seeking a convenient connection to Bridgetown.”

The BTMI CEO said the addition in their Latin American flight strategy was borne out of a desire to expand Barbados’ presence in that market by working with a carrier with a broader flight network. The new Avianca service will permit connections between Barbados and Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Panama City, Mexico, Lima, San Salvador, Guayaquil and Quito via Bogota with connection times of two and a half hours or less.

The legacy carrier also promises an improved customer experience, added value through their Star Alliance rewards programme and introduces a business class option to travelers from that market.

Barbados will be counting on its more than 113 kilometers of white sandy beaches and turquoise sea, as well as its numerous world-class restaurants and bars, tours within its UNESCO World Heritage site, and a year-round calendar of exciting events to woo the South Americans to the island.

With the implementation of the Bogotá-Bridgetown flights, Avianca will expand its Caribbean operations, which already include chartered flights to Aruba, Curaçao, Cancun, Punta Cana, Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico.

For more information, as well as access to flight queries and sales of touristic plans in points-of-sale of Avianca, travel agencies, the Call Center 018000 95 3434 in Colombia, 57+4013434 in Bogotá or in the website www.avianca.com.


Press Information:

Gilma Úsuga                                                                         Claudia Arenas

+571 587 77 00 ext. 1670 y 1711                                             +502 2279 5700 +502 22795600

[email protected]; [email protected]        [email protected]




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Martinique Promotion Bureau Makes Strong Push for U.S. Visitors

NEW YORK, NY (October 26, 2015) – The Martinique Promotion Bureau is making a strong push to attract U.S. travelers this winter by hosting its annual Martinique Magnifique Travel Show in five key markets – New York, Boston, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Miami – October 22–29, 2015. The special events tout the latest developments in air service, hotel development, cruise options, and attractions.

“With an 800% increase in cruise passenger arrivals since 2010, a nearly 200% jump in available nonstop air seats from the U.S. mainland since last winter, and several new hotel projects, we certainly have a lot of great news to share,” said Muriel Wiltord, Director Americas for the Martinique Promotion Bureau. “Together with a strong delegation of industry partners, who made the trip from Martinique to help us spread all the good news, we look forward to making everyone aware of all that makes Martinique especially affordable, accessible, and magnifique for U.S. travelers this winter.”

Pictured above from left to right at the New York edition of the Martinique Magnifique Travel Show, held October 22, 2015, are Bertrand Lortholary, Consul General of France in New York; Muriel Wiltord, Director Americas of the Martinique Promotion Bureau; Markly Wilson, Director International Marketing, I love NY; Bernard Faro, Deputy Consul General; and Anne-Laure Tuncer, Director Atout France USA.

The remaining schedule of Martinique Magnifique Travel Show events is as follows:


New England Aquarium

Tuesday, October 27, 2015



French Kitchen – Lord Baltimore Hotel

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Washington, DC

Embassy of France

Wednesday, October 28, 2015



Miami Beach Women’s Club

Thursday, October 29, 2015



Travel industry partners making presentations and participating in the tradeshow portion of the Martinique Magnifique Travel Show events represent such notable brands as American Airlines, Avis, Hotel Bakoua, Club Med, Le Parc Naturel Régional de la Martinique, Norwegian Air, and the all new Hotel Le Simon, opening in January 2016.

For Martinique Magnifique Travel Show invitations and more information, please contact the Martinique Promotion Bureau at [email protected].

For more information on travel to Martinique, please visit www.martinique.org.

For the latest, up-to-date Martinique Promotion Bureau press kit, visit www.martiniquepresskit.com.

About Martinique (www.us.martinique.org)

The Caribbean Island with French Flair, The Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World, The Isle of the Famed Poet (Aimé Césaire) – Martinique ranks among the most alluring and enchanting destinations in the world. As an overseas region of France, Martinique boasts modern and reliable infrastructure – roads, water and power utilities, hospitals, and telecommunications services all on par with any other part of the European Union.At the same time, Martinique’s beautifully unspoiled beaches, volcanic peaks, rainforests, 80+ miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, streams, and other natural wonders are the equal of neighboring Dominica to the north and St. Lucia to the south, so visitors here truly get the best of both worlds.

The currency is the Euro, the flag is Le Tricolour, and the official language is French, but Martinique’s character, cuisine, musical heritage, art, culture, common language, and identity are of a distinctly Afro-Caribbean inclination known as Creole Martiniquais. It is this special combination of modern world conveniences, pristine nature, and rich heritage that has earned for Martinique several notable distinctions in recent years, including being named as a “Must-Visit” destination for 2015 by Caribbean Journal, “Best Caribbean Destination” by About.com, and “Top Caribbean Island for Delectable Dining” by Caribbean Travel + Life. The Bay of Fort-de-France, which fronts Martinique’s charming capital city, was also recently inducted into The Club of The Most Beautiful Bays in the World.

Martinique’s storied history further stirs travel passions. Napoleon’s bride, Empress Josephine, was born and raised in Martinique, while the majestic Mt. Pelée volcano and St. Pierre, The Pompeii of the Caribbean, are found here.

A special place, to be sure, with so much to offer – Martinique c’est magnifique!

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Tourism Arrivals on the Rise in Belize

Belize City, Belize – October 19, 2015 – Overnight arrivals for the 3rd quarter (July-September) of 2015 have shown a significant increase of 6.9%, when compared to the same period in 2014. September saw an astounding increase of 19.3%; the highest increase ever recorded for the month of September, going as far back as 2006. There were 14,242 overnight visitors in September 2015, which is an increase of 2,299 compared to September 2014.


The Airport remains the leading entry point into the country. Air arrivals accounted for 74.7% of the total overnight arrivals. September 2015 saw an increase of approximately 20% through the international airport. We can conclude that visitors from the United States accounted for the bulk of this increase in airport arrivals for September, as arrivals for Americans increased by 28.55%. Overall, Americans continue to be our main market, making up close to 65% of arrivals.

Noteworthy is that there has been a major increase in South American arrivals, with a 45.1% increase for the first 9 months of 2015.  This was followed by the Asian market which had a 25.1% increase.


We anticipate continued growth in the South American and Asian markets with new marketing strategies that have been implemented in these areas, such as Trade Shows, Road Shows, service via Copa Airlines and other marketing partnerships.

Every month since June 2015, has resulted in increased arrivals, when compared to the same months in 2014.

Cruise arrivals for the first 9 months of 2015 showed a small dip of 0.3% when compared to 2014, but a significant increase of 44.42% when compared to 2013.


For more information about tourist arrivals statistics, please contact the Belize Tourism Board at 227-2420.

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Barbados’ Tourism Sector on Growth Path

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados. October 19, 2015 – Barbados’ tourism sector is back on a path of growth following six years of recessionary conditions. 

“This year we have seen growth in all of the major areas of importance, including airlift, accommodations, and programmes to enhance the quality of our tourism product.” BTMI CEO, William Griffith said.

“We are also enjoying favourable global economic conditions in several key source markets, the price of oil is down and travelers are gaining greater confidence and now booking further in advance.”

The CEO was speaking during an international media briefings at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s State of the Industry Conference in Curaçao.

For the upcoming winter season, the island is set to realize a seven percent increase in airlift having negotiated several inaugural flights, including a new service out of Bogota, Columbia on Dec. 2.  The new Avianca service will permit connections between Barbados and Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Panama City, Mexico, Lima, San Salvador, Guayaquil and Quito with connection times of 2.5 hours or less.

On Nov. 7, the island will welcome two new JetBlue flights: the new Mint service out of New York and the new Boston direct service.  Arrivals out of the USA are already at a healthy 27.9 percent.

There will also be a new Thomas Cook service from Glasgow, Scotland commencing the following day. Air Canada’s Rouge service is also set to return on January 7, 2016.

Griffith revealed that 2015 marked the start of over US $1 Billion dollars in proposed new hotel plant investment over the next five years that will produce some 2,300 rooms.

This started with the opening of the luxury all-inclusive Sandals Barbados, which is scheduled to add some 220 rooms in 2016.  This winter the Sugar Bay Hotel (formerly Amaryllis) and The Sands (formers Sandy Beach) will also open their doors as all-inclusive products, adding 300 new rooms.

The Wyndham Hotel project at the site of the iconic Sam Lord’s Castle and the Hyatt Hotel in the historic Bridgetown, will see the island welcoming two new established global hotel brands by 2018.  In addition, 24 hotels have undergone significant refurbishments in time for the 2016 winter season.

Barbados has also made significant strides in both its long-stay and cruise arrivals.  Some 432, 713 long-stay visitors were recorded at the end of September year-to-date, an increase of 14.5 percent. Meanwhile cruise arrivals are set to increase by 5-7 percent, largely driven by 16 augural visits.  Among those scheduled calls are the Mein Sheiff 3 and the Carnival Britannia, two mega ships, which are now able to dock following a major expansion project at the Bridgetown Port.

The BTMI chief also alluded to a number of initiatives geared toward increasing Barbados’ competitiveness.

“We’ve just completed a brand positioning exercise wherein all of our future marketing campaigns will capitalize on our reputation as a safe, engaging and culturally rich destination – all of the ingredients sought by the contemporary traveler.”

The BTMI’s sister agency, the Barbados Tourism Product Authority (BTPA) is also implementing a number of initiatives to create new tourism experiences, assure high service and product quality and increase public awareness of the importance of tourism.

Of great importance for Barbados is moving toward being a year-round destination, a strategy being driven by their dense events calendar.

“In 2016 Barbados will be a hub for visitors as we will raise the standard of every event in line with our golden celebrations to mark our 50th year of independence.  During these year-long celebrations there will be chances to win free vacations and free destination weddings, as well as incentives for our top-performing travel agents.”

– Ends

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Bahamas Tourism Minister named Travel Personality of The Year

Director General Joy Jibrilu stands with Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe at the World Travel Awards. Minister Wilchcombe was awarded Travel Personality of the year. (Photo/Letisha Henderson)

Director General Joy Jibrilu stands with Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe at the World Travel Awards. Minister Wilchcombe was awarded Travel Personality of the year. (Photo/Letisha Henderson)

Nassau, The Bahamas, October 19, 2015 – Bahamas Minister of Tourism Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe is the Caribbean’s leading Travel Personality of 2015, a special honor bestowed by World Travel Awards (WTA) to acknowledge monumental contributions to the travel and tourism industry.

Minister Wilchcombe was presented with “the most prestigious award of the year” at the 22nd Annual World Travel Awards Caribbean and North America Ceremony 2015 at the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort on October 17.

According to WTA President and Founder Graham Cooke, the Travel Awards Academy met to review suitable candidates and unanimously one name came to the fore. He noted that Minister Wilchcombe has made a positive, defining impact to the industry, not only over the last 12 months, but over the course of a lifetime.

“It is quite an honor to receive this prestigious award on behalf of The Bahamas because this award is not just for me; it is for the Bahamian people. This award is also for the taxi drivers, the straw vendors, the hotel employees, and all of the hard working Bahamians in the tourism industry,” Minister Wilchcombe said.

Hailed as “The Oscars of the Travel Industry”, World Travel Awards is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade, and celebrates brands and destinations that are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence.

It was an exciting evening of glitz and glamour for The Islands of The Bahamas, snagging six awards in total in several prestigious categories before an audience of travel and tourism leaders from across the Caribbean and North American region.

Caribbean’s Travel Personality of the Year – Bahamas Tourism Minister, Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe

Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Destination 2015 – The Bahamas

Caribbean’s Leading Conference Hotel 2015 – Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort, Great Exuma, Bahamas

Caribbean’s Leading Private Island Destination 2015 – Fowl Cay Resort, Bahamas

Best Bahamas Spa Resort 2015 – Sandals Royal Bahamian, Nassau, Bahamas

Best Bahamian Villa 2015 – Grand Isle Resort, Exuma, Bahamas

All award winners will attend the World Travel Awards Grand Final in Morocco this December.

Tourism Director General Joy Jibrilu accepted the award for Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Destination 2015 on behalf of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

“When you looked around the room and saw all of the prestigious winners, and to know that The Bahamas is ranking among them, you know we are doing something right,” said Mrs. Jibrilu.

“We will not rest on our laurels however, and we have our eyes on several more categories. I hope that these awards encourage the Bahamian people, all of us, to perform even better, to make our country even greater so that next year we will claim even more prestigious World Travel Awards.”

The industry’s elite, including CEOs of leading travel companies, government ministers and tourist board officials from throughout the region, attended the red carpet event.

Guests were treated to performances by The Royal Bahamas Police Force Pop Band, the sultry sounds of Alia Cole, and the sights and sounds of Crusaders Junkanoo Group.
Media contact:            Anita Johnson-Patty               [email protected]

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Discover Dominica Authority partners with LIAT

Roseau, Dominica – (October 15, 2015)   Discover Dominica Authority has partnered with LIAT to launch discounted airfares to hoteliers and travel agents visiting Dominica between October 1 – December 31, 2015.

Travel agents and hoteliers originating from Antigua, Barbados, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia and St. Maarten are eligible for US$100 discount off a return fare flight to Dominica.   In addition, five Dominican hotels are offering reductions on hotel rooms ranging from 25 – 50 per cent off their regular rates.  Hotel specials are available from the Anchorage Hotel, Citrus Creek Plantation, Fort Young Hotel, Pagua Bay House and The Champs.

This initiative is just one of the many collaborative efforts between Discover Dominica Authority and regional carrier, LIAT, to facilitate travel for promotional purposes.   In July, LIAT carried Barbadian professional surfer Brian Talma’s to Dominica for Dive Fest activities from July 17 – 20, 2015.   The airline also assisted with the travel arrangements and transportation of costumes for Miss Dominica 2015 to  participate in the Miss Jaycees Queen Pageant held in Antigua on July 26, 2015 and the Miss Caribbean Culture Queen Show held in Nevis on August 6, 2015.

“LIAT works closely with its main Shareholder Governments to facilitate their travel to key events around the region, to assist them in travel arrangements for visiting artists and to attract people to visit the island,” said a LIAT representative. Meanwhile Director of Tourism, Mr. Colin Piper sees this partnership as one that is mutually beneficial. According to Piper, “Air access is critical to facilitating travel of residents and visitors in and out of Dominica and LIAT has been willing to work with Dominica in this regard”.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

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